Terrapin Conservation Measure Implemented for Recreational Crab Pots
Senate Bill 283 was adopted in the 2016 session of the VA General Assembly
and approved by Governor McAuliffe. The bill modifies Section 28.2-226.2 of
the Code of Virginia effective 7/1/16 to raise the fee for a recreational
five crab pot license from the current $36 to $46 for those license holders
who do not install a turtle/terrapin excluder device on their crab pots.
Those who install the excluder devices may purchase a 5 crab pot license for
$36. In essence, the new law provides a $10 incentive for purchasers of
recreational crab licenses to install turtle excluder devices in their crab
Virginia recreational crab pot licensees are encouraged to purchase the new
lower cost license and install the turtle/terrapin excluder device to help
in the efforts to conserve terrapins in Virginia saltwater areas.
To learn more about terrapins, terrapin conservation, and how to use turtle
excluders, also known as bycatch reduction devices or “BRDs”, please visit
the following Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) web pages.
Information included on the VIMS pages includes techniques for making your
own BRDs and some contacts to purchase BRDs commercially.
VIMS site with online link to purchase BRDs Note: almost all the
bait and tackle shops have the exclusion devices, some may sell crab pots
with the exclusion devices already in place, others may just have the
terrapin exclusion device. Please call your local bait and tackle shop to be
certain they have them in stock. They may have all three components, (1)
just the terrapin turtle exclusion devices or (2) just the crab pots that
you can put the terrapin turtle exclusion devices in yourself or (3) crab
pots that already have the terrapin turtle exclusion devices in them.
Other specific vendors for excluder devices:
• Almost all Wal-Mart’s sell the terrapin turtle exclusion devices.
• Chris’ Bait and Tackle on the Eastern Shore has terrapin turtle exclusion
devices and crab pots. 757-331-3000;
• Heath Crab Pots in Christfield, Maryland, 410-968-1292; has both pots and/
or terrapin turtle exclusion devices. This business is strictly about
• Sherry Jo’s Custom Bait in Bloxom, Virginia, on the Eastern Shore has both
the exclusion devices and crab pots. 757-824-6449
After July 1, 2016, the two new recreational crab 5 pot licenses will be
VMRC License Agents, ask for these gear
458 REC CRAB 5 POT W/TERP EXCLUDER -- $36
459 REC CRAB 5 POT NO TERP EXCLUDR -- $46
The 5 pot licenses can also be purchased through Virginia Department of Game
and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) license agents or can be purchase online, visit
the DGIF License Page to find out how.
Note: licensees that purchased their 2016 recreational 5 crab pot license prior to 7/1/16 are not required to install BRDs in their crab pots since their license was purchased prior to the new law going into effect. All $36 5 pot licenses purchased after 7/1/16 are required to have a BRD installed.